Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Need fast-acting yeast (Score 1) 134

by Trepidity (#47438379) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

I doubt it will be fully legal by 2018. At the state level, I think it's likely more states will decriminalize or even fully legalize, but not all of them. I'll put a guess at: by 2018, it will be fully legal in 15 states, decriminalized in 15, and still criminal to possess in 20 states.

At the federal level, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs would complicate legalization efforts, since the Treaty requires signatories to ban marijuana. And the U.S. doesn't want to undermine this treaty, because it uses the treaty to strongarm other countries over things like coca and poppy growing. It's possible the DEA will lower enforcement priority, though, and maybe possible (though imo this is less likely) that Congress will revise the law to reduce sentences from their current levels.

Comment: Re:USB DACs (Score 1) 479

Personally, I use built-in audio. It really IS good enough for most purposes - I have never been dissatisfied with the quality of my laptop DAC.

My original point was that cheap USB audio (those under $10) are crap, and most people who just want to improve the sound, and CAN tell the difference, don't need the fancy DSP stuff.

I want to Sweetwater's web site. They have a bunch of brands of USB audio interfaces in the $100 range from such brands as Alesis, PreSonus, Yamaha, and M-Audio. Behringer even makes $30 ones, but reviews are mixed. Still, if you need line-in on a laptop, that is the cheapest way. If you ARE into sound and music, you can get even mixers with audio interfaces built-in. Alesis even makes some rather nice studio monitors (speakers) with a USB interface.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 169

by harrkev (#47436269) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't think the materials science is there to deal with forming/deforming a projectile on the order of 300,000 rpm (presuming a 1:7 twist & 3,000 fps).

Piezo actuators should have no problems working at up high tens of KHz, and even up in the hundreds. Peizo elements are used in tweeters, where they have to react up to at least 20 KHz, in the right range for this project. Piezos do not have much distance that they can travel, but at that speed, you might not need much distance. All you really need is a little paddle that can stick out an slow the bullet down on one side.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 169

by harrkev (#47436233) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

And here's a clue for you. NO one over there wants peace at all, ever.

Sorry, but many Muslims are taught to hate Jews from a very young age:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

There are other examples, but this is the most famous one that I could think of.

From what I understand (and I know many American Jews who have visited Israel), the Jews pretty much just want to be left alone.

Comment: Baikal? (Score 1) 137

by Stargoat (#47435453) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

Didn't Remington import for a number of years shotguns from a Russian company called Baikal? They were terrible guns for any use other than a club, poorly balanced and an action that made an I beam look flexible. But if you wanted a gun to club someone with, a Baikal was an awesome choice. It made a hellagood club - stout and durable. Thing was built like a tank.

Comment: Re:Daikatana failed because it was too Japanese. (Score 5, Insightful) 80

by kuzb (#47434817) Attached to: What Happens When Gaming Auteurs Try To Go It Alone?

That's probably because we don't see the aloof emo hero who in between fighting off a plethora of barely legal teen girl love interests, has hour long mid-combat philosophical debates with his enemies as being particularly appealing. Most of us find this just plain stupid.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 2) 169

by harrkev (#47434677) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

You got it. Lasers are cheap... electronics are cheap... batteries are cheap... spoofing is cheap.

Really, as an engineer, I can imagine two ways for this thing to work, and it depends on if the projectile spins. Typically, bullets spin so that they act as gyroscopes -- always pointing the same direction (YouTube has videos of guys firing pistols into ice -- ice stops bullet which just sits there and spins like a top).

If the projectile spins, you can, in theory, guide it with a single fin that can extend or retract. You could not use a standard camera as such, because you are spinning wildly. Assume 2000 FPS bullets -- if you want to shoot a mile, you need at least this much. Also assume a 1-in-12 twist (real twists are in the range of 1-in-7 to 1-in-14, depending on shape and weights of bullet). That means that the bullet is spinning with a approximate rotation of 2 KHz. I doubt that you could have an effective regular camera spinning like that and still work. A better way would be to have a linear sensor (a line camera) that looks forward and to the side. This could operate. When you see a bright stop, see how far it is from the center. More off-center = kick your fin a bit more. This is simple and straightforward. However, since the bullet is spinning and you do not know when the camera will cross the laser, you probably need to keep the laser on full time. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way to accomplish this, but should be easily spoofed. You could maybe put a crypto on the laser signal by changing the intensity of the signal without turning it off, but it would have to be a much lower frequency than 2 KHz because that is your effective sample rate. If you assume 500 Hz signal (four-times oversampling), you would only get about 500 bits of data before you hit your target (assuming a target 2000 feet away). Is that enough to actually apply crypto? I am not sure...

On the other hand, if the bullet is NOT spinning, you can use a regular camera and regular fins to control it. In that case, it is entirely reasonable to embed some sort of cryptographic modulation on the signal. In any case, the existence of a 2-D sensor makes the bullet more expensive, and increases the amount of processing that needs to be done. It should, however, be more feasible to put crypto, but at greater cost.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 3, Insightful) 169

by harrkev (#47434367) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands. First of all, you're using high tech weapons in a low tech war. You can't really fire any round anymore that doesn't cost you more than what your target cost your enemy.

Off topic, I admit, but this reminds me of the current Isreal/Hamaas conflict. Just launch simple, dumb, and cheap unguided rockets from the Gaza Strip. Isreal has an "Iron Dome" defense system that is supposedly pretty effective at stopping them -- at $1,000,000 per shot. Great way to bankrupt an enemy...

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1, Interesting) 169

by harrkev (#47434329) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Actually, this should not be scary at all! You just need to figure out the frequency and modulation of the laser used. Then, just make sure that you have such a laser pointed at the guy beside you. You are suddenly safe from snipers! Just make sure that you do not like the guy beside you.

Seriously, the only way this could be spoof-proof is to modulate the laser with some type of crypto.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 169

by Trepidity (#47434271) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

That would require some target-identification, while this is just target-tracking. You point at a target and shoot, and the system makes sure the target is hit. Now it could avoid any target you try to shoot at, but that would be a bit silly: a good way to make sure all your bullets miss is to just not fire them!

Comment: Re:Why 80% (Score 1) 272

by harrkev (#47433621) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Hey, Obama promised "Hope and Change." Isn't that what we have here? Admittedly, Bush started this -- probably. Or maybe he inherited the seeds from Clinton or earlier -- who knows how far back this trail goes? But Obama has had almost 6 years to fix things. Instead, under his watch, things have gotten worse.

In Obama's defense, I do not know if Romney would have done things any differently, but I suspect we would probably still be here even if he had won.

Privacy

William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls 272

Posted by Soulskill
from the must-use-a-good-compression-algorithm dept.
stephendavion sends a report at The Guardian about remarks from whistleblower William Binney, who left the NSA after its move toward overreaching surveillance following the September 11th attacks. Binney says, "At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the U.S. The NSA lies about what it stores." He added, "The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control, but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone." One of Binney's biggest concerns about government-led surveillance is its lack of oversight: "The FISA court has only the government’s point of view. There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for U.S. domestic audiences and you can double that globally."

Comment: better map link (Score 4, Informative) 79

by Trepidity (#47428477) Attached to: SpaceX Wins FAA Permission To Build a Spaceport In Texas

If you can't read the scaled-down map reproduced from the report in the linked blog post, you can either look on p. 54 of the PDF, or else here's the site on OpenStreetMap. It appears it's not just that they're being given permission for the launches, but also that they're being given use of the land: the approved launch site is Texas state-owned land in Boca Chica State Park, which they'll be allowed to construct a facility on, and use for a certain number of days/year.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken

Working...